Lahore (Muhammad Yasir) International humanitarian Angelina Jolie is visiting Pakistan to support communities affected by the devastating floods. Heavy rains and floods across the country have impacted 33 million people and submerged one third of the country under water. Ms Jolie is visiting to witness and gain understanding of the situation, and to hear from people affected directly about their needs, and about steps to prevent such suffering in the future.
Ms Jolie, who previously visited victims of the 2010 floods in Pakistan, and the 2005 earthquake, will visit the IRC’s emergency response operations and local organisations assisting displaced people including Afghan refugees.
Pakistan, which has contributed just 1% of global carbon emissions, is also the second largest host of refugees globally, its people having sheltered Afghan refugees for over forty years.
Ms Jolie will highlight the need for urgent support for the Pakistani people and long-term solutions to address the multiplying crises of climate change, human displacement and protracted insecurity we are witnessing globally.
Ms Jolie will see first hand how countries like Pakistan are paying the greatest cost for a crisis they did not cause. The IRC hopes her visit will shed light on this issue and prompt the international community – particularly states contributing the most to carbon emissions – to act and provide urgent support to countries bearing the brunt of the climate crisis.
Shabnam Baloch, Pakistan Country Director at the IRC said:
“The climate crisis is destroying lives and futures in Pakistan, with severe consequences especially for women and children. The resulting economic loss from these floods will likely lead to food insecurity and an increase in violence against women and girls. We need immediate support to reach people in urgent need, and long term investments to stop climate change from destroying our collective futures. With more rains expected in the coming months, we hope Angelina Jolie’s visit will help the world wake up and take action.”
IRC’s latest needs assessment shows people are in urgent need of food, drinking water, shelter, and healthcare. Every person surveyed reported women and girls have no access to menstrual hygiene products. So far, the IRC has reached more than 50,000 women and girls with humanitarian assistance, including dignity and hygiene kits to address the need for sanitation and menstrual items. We have been providing lifesaving services to flood-affected communities in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh since early July and have reached almost 950,000 people with emergency supplies, food, healthcare and safe spaces.